I felt great! Not just a little good, I felt really great. My head was clear and sharp. It was as if a film of dullness had been lifted from me.
“I don’t think this is getting easier,” were Helaine’s words as we approached the halfway point in our march upward. I was huffing and puffing too much to respond.
The trail is wide enough that a car could fit… if it was allowed up there. You’re walking through a forest, so there’s little direct sunlight that hits the trail itself. That makes summer walks a little easier to handle.
Nearly all of the trail we walk is on an incline. It has to be. In the 1.6 miles to the top, you’re gaining nearly 700 feet.
“They’ve tilted the Earth, haven’t they,” I asked? “It’s steeper than it was last week.”
Today, for the first time this season, I made the trip in one fell swoop. There was no stopping for a sip of water on a convenient boulder at the midway point. My hair was matted and sweaty under my New York Times hat (a Father’s Day gift) as we got to the stone castle at the summit, but we got there.
It’s a good thing this is Sleeping Giant Mountain and not Sleeping Giant Canyon. Who’d do it if the uphill part was last!
We got home, I took a shower and got ready for work. And then, a wonderful thing happened. I felt great! Not just a little good, I felt really great. My head was clear and sharp. It was as if a film of dullness had been lifted from me. I think the mountain hike is responsible.
Is it possible our walking has brought me a runner’s high?
From Wikipedia: Another widely publicized effect of endorphin production is the so-called “runner’s high”, which is said to occur when strenuous exercise takes a person over a threshold that activates endorphin production. Endorphins are released during long, continuous workouts, when the level of intensity is between moderate and high, and breathing is difficult. This also corresponds with the time that muscles use up their stored glycogen. Workouts that are most likely to produce endorphins include running, swimming, cross-country skiing, long distance rowing, bicycling, weight lifting, aerobics, or playing a sport such as Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, rugby, or American football.
Does this mean I’m out-of-shape enough that walking brings to me what running brings to others? Whatever it is, I want more. We’ll probably be back on the mountain Saturday.